The city of Casper easily eclipsed a 36-year-old record for snowfall on the fifth of May, less than a week after many residents were firing up their air conditioners.

The National Weather Service's Riverton office reported that a foot of snow had fallen on Casper Mountain as of 5 p.m., and that similar amounts had fallen in lower elevations in the city.

That obliterated a record set on May 5, 1971, when the previous record -- one inch -- fell on the city.

The snowfall also closed a stretch of Interstate 25 in both directions from Casper to Douglas, and left thousands without power during part of the day in Rock Springs, Rawlins and Casper, according to Rocky Mountain Power officials.

Power should be restored to all affected areas this morning.

Police and electricians responded to dozens of downed power lines, including some that sparked and came dangerously close to toppling trees.

Casper's forecast today calls for more snow especially near Casper Mountain, tapering off into Monday, said Arthur Meunier, forecaster in the NWS' Riverton office.

"This is a very slow-moving storm with a very moist easterly flow," Meunier said.

The city was dealing with dozens of spinouts and minor accidents, said Casper Police Sgt. Don Martin. No serious injuries were reported as of 5:30 p.m.

"It would be nice if people just stayed off the road," he said.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to at least one three-car accident on Interstate 25 within the Casper City limits, but no injuries were reported.

At one point, police ran out of tow companies to call to pull vehicles out of snowdrifts and assorted accidents.

Other areas of the state were enjoying plenty of snowfall as a late-spring storm swept into the state Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, 13 inches had fallen as of 5 p.m. in South Pass, seven inches fell at the Lander Airport and 12 inches in parts of Johnson County.

The record for most snowfall in one day in May in Casper occurred on May 4, 1978, when 13 inches fell -- a record that could be in jeopardy.